The parson spider is a nuisance in homes and is generally nontoxic; although some people may experience allergic reactions to the bites. The parson spider is about 1/2 inch long and may vary in colour from brown to black. The front segment of the body tends to be a chestnut colour, while the abdomen is greyish with a distinctive white or pink pattern along its middle. The body is covered with fine hairs, giving a velvety appearance. The parson spider is usually found outdoors under rocks or in piles of brush or firewood.
This spider does not spin a web, but wanders on the ground in search of prey. Indoors, this spider wanders about at night and conceals itself beneath objects or in clothing during the day. Most bites from this spider occur at night or when it is trapped in clothing. While the parson spider is not considered particularly dangerous to humans, bite symptoms are variable in severity. Some people may experience localized allergic swelling and itching in addition to initial pain. A few persons may experience excessive swelling, nervousness, nausea, sweating and elevated temperatures from the bites.
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